Former MIL Standout Tevita Finau Signs With Eagles

June 22, 2012, 11:09 PM HST · Updated June 22, 11:11 PM
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Tavita Finau. File photo by Utah SID Office.

By Rodney S. Yap

The Philadelphia Eagles signed rookie free-agent defensive tackle Tevita Finau on Friday and waived defensive end Maurice Fountain with an injury settlement.

Finau, 6-foot-4 and 283 pounds, logged 37 tackles and three sacks for Utah in 2011. He played a huge role in the Utes’ Sun Bowl win against Georgia Tech, recording a career-high 10 tackles.

Finau, 26, is a former Lahainaluna standout, who also played basketball at Maui High and later graduated from Kahuku, where he earned first-team all-state honors in football and basketball.

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Originally signed as undrafted free agent with Arizona, he registered 37 tackles with five tackles for loss and three sacks as a senior coached by Chad Kauhaahaa, the former Baldwin High head coach. Finau was recognized as the 2008 regional Co-Defensive Player of the Year at Phoenix College after posting 53 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. The 26-year-old was a three-year recipient of first-team all-state honors in football and basketball in high school.

Finau is the second former Maui Interscholastic League football player to sign a free-agent contract with an NFL team. Former Baldwin linebacker Jojo Dickson, who starred at Idaho, signed with Cleveland in mid-May, joining Browns’ linebacker Kaluka Maiava, who is beginning his fourth season in Cleveland. Maiava is expected to start at linebacker for teammate Scott Fujita for the first three games of the season. Fujita has been suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell over bounty allegations.

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